Abayomi Arabambi, the national publicity secretary for the Labour Party faction led by Lamidi Apapa, and Yunusa Tanko, the spokesperson for the party’s presidential campaign council, have expressed conflicting opinions regarding the names on the certificates of Peter Obi, the party’s presidential candidate.
Arabambi said that Obi used multiple identities on his credentials from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the discharge certificate from the National Youth Service Corps in an interview on Africa Independent Television on Thursday.
This comes after Obi, in a press conference on Wednesday, challenged President Bola Tinubu to reveal his true identity to Nigerians, amidst his (Tinubu) certificate saga from the Chicago State University.
Speaking, Arabambi said, “I was part of the people who did screening for him. In the form EC9, we gave him, he wrote that he attended the University of Nigeria Nsukka and he wrote that he finished his youth service but unfortunately, in the final submission of the form he only submitted his school certificate.
Arabambi added, “So, something is fishy and I want to say the name the school sent for mobilisation (for national youth service) was not what was written on his NYSC certificate and he knows that.
He added that “we have before the Supreme Court his own petition and the pleadings are not there. You are now calling out someone to come and reveal his true identity.”
He noted that the party is in the dark regarding the identity of Obi, saying, “everything was shrouded in secrecy at that time between him and Abure in Asaba.
“You know we were rushing because we had just a day to do our presidential primary and that was why he was able to get away with it, but we have it on record that Obi’s name on his NYSC certificate and the one on his University of Nigeria, Nsukka certificates are different.”
However, Tanko challenged Arabambi to show the proof of his allegation against Obi.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Tanko labelled Arabambi’s move as a “mischievous accusation.”
He added that Obi’s academic records are available in the “public domain”.
Tanko said, “Let him prove it. Let him show us where the discrepancies are. Already, the documents of Mr. Peter Obi are in the public domain.”
“I think it’s just a mischievous accusation.”
While sharing his opinion on Tinubu’s academic records, Tanko said, “It’s very clear that Tinubu didn’t present a document from the college he said he went to. At the moment, you can’t verify a document that was issued to Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the Chicago State University.
“You can not present a document from a secondary school that Bola Ahmed Tinubu may have mentioned as where he has graduated, neither can he present a primary school certificate to you in which he graduated from.”
He asked, “And, if as alluded by Festus Keyamo that he (Tinubu) was tutored at home, where did he mention the fact that he went to federal college in Lagos and Ibadan? So, which one is true?”
Tanko stressed that such is the reason Obi was calling on Tinubu to “come out and publicly announce to the Nigerian people where he comes from,” including his name and details of his education, and year of graduation.
“That way, we can hold him accountable to his statement by himself, not by any surrogate,” Tanko said.
When asked if Obi may work with PDP presidential nominee Atiku Abubakar, Tanko said the former governor of Anambra State was ready “as long as the issue is concerned stands on fighting for Nigeria.”
Every Nigerian, he said, must be free from the “shackles of forgery and misappropriation of truth” and should take part in the fight for a better country.